Haiti: Electoral court rules that election process unaffected by voting irregularities

Haitian President-elect Jovenel Moïse. PHOTO/ Hector Retamal/AFP

The Office of the National Electoral Litigation (Electoral Court) in Haiti on Monday ruled that while there had been irregularities in the tabulation of votes cast in the November 20 presidential elections last year, “they did not affect the electoral process”.

One month after voters had cast ballots in the legislative and presidential elections, the Electoral Court had handed a lifeline to 3 political parties that had been challenging the victory of businessman Jovenel Moïse, when it ordered a review of the preliminary results.

Attorneys for the political parties – Famni Lavalas, Piti dessalin and LAPEH – had argued against the tally giving more than 55 percent of the votes to Moïse, who was nominated by former president Michel Martelly to represent his party, Tet Kale (PHTK).

The attorneys representing defeated candidates – Jude Célestin, Moïse Jean-Charles and Maryse Narcisse – cited errors in the vote count and officials’ failure to comply with the requirement that voters sign their ballots or mark them with fingerprints at polling stations.

The Electoral Court in its ruling on December 20 ordered that 12 percent of randomly drawn presidential minutes be verified and that the verification exercise be carried out in the presence of the parties concerned and the national and international electoral observation organisations.

The court said that after “deliberation in the Chamber of the Council, acting in accordance with the Decree of 2 March 2015 in force without appeal, declares that after analysis of the 12 percent or one thousand five hundred and sixty (1,560) Minutes at the Vote Tabulation Center (CTV), it does not detect any massive fraud but irregularities which cannot affect the electoral process”.
“The decision of the court is without appeal for the protestors,” it added.

The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), which had earlier rejected the request by the 3 political parties challenging the results of the elections, is due to announce the results of the presidential elections later on Tuesday. -(CMC)